Islamic marriage advice and family advice

What is the correct ‘custom’ for marrying a Muslim who is divorced?

mercy nikah


Can anyone please give me some 'correct' information with regard to marrying a Muslim in Amman, Jordan?  I'm so confused at present as to what IS the correct procedure!! I've read so many different things with regard to this that I really don't know what is correct!!

I am a Christian woman - mid 50's - who wishes to marry a Muslim man in his mid-late 60's.  He is divorced but she lives in the U.S.A. He does see his ex-wife about 3 times a year as they do have 3 grown up children between them. I have no problems with that at all.

I am also considering converting to Islam as well - not just for marriage though. I would never do it just for the Wedding Ceremony!!  That would be wrong.

I've also read that an ex-wife is always involved in her ex-husbands life, whether divorced or not. I do realise that Marriage is much more than just a piece of Paper in Islamic Law.

I have read that even if he does wish to remarry he can't do so unless she has remarried herself. Is that correct?

Does he also need her permission to marry someone else, whether Christian or Muslim?

What happens if she doesn't give her consent?

Or, does it have to be stipulated in the Marriage contract?

He has said that it IS complicated for him. I do realise that Islamic Law is very complicated to understand but I am trying to find what is the correct procedure.

If she wanted to be part of his life, even after Divorce, why would she then move to the United States.  She has no contact with their 3 grown-up children either, 2 of which still live in Amman and the other lives and works in Dubai.

But, I will state that he is currently in the U.S. on holidays (which he has had planned for quite a few months and of which I already knew) and I'm sure he will see her while he is there.  I have no problems with that.

I know there is so much more to being a Muslim wife than just a Wedding Ceremony!!  I know that the man has all the say and makes all the decisions and the wife has to abide by that.  But, decisions are also made as a 'group' as well.

My family here, as I live in Australia, are more worried about it being so 'controlling' and that you are 'classed' as a piece of property.

He has also said that the Law has changed a lot over the years. He is also very honest with me and answers all my questions that I ask.

I'm only asking here for information as I didn't want to intrude by asking him personally about him and his ex-wife.

Any information would be much appreciated.






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8 Responses »

  1. Assalaamualaikam

    I'm not a scholar, so inshaAllah someone more knowledgeable can correct me if I am wrong.

    My understanding is that following a divorce, the only communications between two ex-spouses should relate to any children they have together. Other than that, the divorce formalises that they have chosen to go their separate ways. So, they don't have to stay in contact for any other reason. In fact, it would be inappropriate for them to have extended or unrelated contact, as they are no longer halal for each other.

    Unless they're considering marrying each other again, the issue of the other person's marital status has no bearing on whether one of them can marry someone else. If they had divorced 3 times and now wanted to re-marry, then the issue of whether she had re-married would be important, but it's not relevant to whether he can get married again.

    Her consent isn't necessary. They divorced, presumably because they no longer wished to be in a relationship with each other - so his marital status is none of her business and nor is her marital status any of his business. If the two of them are in contact (which should be related to specific issues, not just friendly chats) then it would probably be good manners for him to inform her that he's getting married, but there's no need to ask her permission.

    You mention that your understanding of the dynamics of an Islamic marriage is that the husband has all the say. That's not entirely accurate. Men and women are of equal importance and bring different qualities to a marriage, so work together as a team - that way things run more smoothly. If you marry this guy and he does something with which you disagree, tell him! You could even put into the marriage contract that there are certain things you would expect him to discuss with you to come to a joint decision.

    Muslim women are not property - contrary to what certain media would suggest, women have a very high status in Islam and are afforded a lot of respect. When Western Europe doubted whether women have souls, Muslim women had rights to work, inherit, own property, testify in court, etc. So try not to worry about this. If you are concerned about what issues might come up in the marriage, try talking with this man to find out his views.

    Midnightmoon editor

  2. OP: He is divorced but she lives in the U.S.A. He does see his ex-wife about 3 times a year as they do have 3 grown up children between them. I have no problems with that at all.

    Do you mean he goes and stays with his wife in US for about 3 times a year? You said his wife has no contact with their 3 grown-up children either. Why they meet about 3 times a year, to do what?

    If he wants to come to Australia make sure he is "divorced". Immigration laws probably require that he report information about his previous marriages truthfully.

    What is complicated for him to do??

    He is currently in the U.S. on holidays (which he has had planned for quite a few months and of which you already knew) and I'm sure he will see her while he is there. you have no problems with that. Some thing is fishy, a divorced Jordanian man spending time with his divorced wife in US.

  3. to: midnightmoon, Issah & SVS,

    Firstly, thankyou so much for your 'input' with regard to several questions that I posed here.

    Since the man that I intend to marry has since returned from the U.S.A., he has stated that he, under 'no' circumstances, contacted his 'ex' wife at all. And, with that, I have no reason not to believe him. No, he does Not stay with her either.

    I was asked: "What was complicated?" He said It was complicated with him because of the 'way' in which he contacted me in the first place!! That was via a penpal website several months ago - so I have since learned that it is 'haram' in Muslim to do that!! He told me, himself, that it is wrong. I have no idea 'how' we can get around that, if, at all!! Mostly for his own families' benefit, I think. Do they 'really' need to know HIS 'business'?

    I didn't mean to imply that Muslim women are 'property' either!! I just meant that the man made most of the decisions? Seems it is NOT correct and thankyou for correcting me in that regard.

    One thing that I would like to know: My family, here in Australia, is very worried; the reason being: I will be coming into a large amount of money sometime & my family thinks he will be able to take it from me as I will be transferring it into a Bank where he lives (in my own name, that is!!)

    If it is left here in Australia, the Government can 'claim' it & it is very hard/next-to-impossible. to get back!! Any suggestions 'what' I could do? I do 'trust' him implicitly, though!!

    Again, thankyou for everyone's suggestions/advice.

    It is very much appreciated!!


    • Assalaamualaikam

      The advice I'd give anyone regarding large sums of money is: Talk to a lawyer and a financial advisor before making any final decisions.

      Depending on where you decide to live, there will be different legal systems and different processes in the banks. So, make sure that a qualified and impartial expert is checking any arrangements you make. It's entirely reasonable for you to want to ensure your financial security, so I can't see a reason why you couldn't have money in a private account.

      Quite a lot of couples now are arranging their finances so that they have a joint account for bills and living expenses, and individual accounts as well - it doesn't imply distrust or that anything dodgy is happening. Having some separate finances can be an attractive option for couples in lots of different settings, so you could maybe discuss this with this man once you are (inshaAllah) married.

      Also, in Islam, a man has an obligation to financially support his wife or wives. But, a woman does not have to give him (or anyone) access to her money. This doesn't mean you should hide things or refuse to contribute - what it means is that you have the right to keep your own money separate from his if you want to do so.

      Midnightmoon editor

    • Firefly: I was asked: "What was complicated?" He said It was complicated with him because of the 'way' in which he contacted me in the first place!! That was via a penpal website several months ago

      He is worried about how people will feel about how he met you? Is he the same guy who has been doing cybersex with you? Is cyberseex haram also?

      Why can't you open an account in Australia and transfer money as needed? DON'T TAKE YOUR MONEY WITH YOU.

      How many times your friend has been to USA?

      • Hello SVS,

        As I stated before - I can't just open an account here, and then transfer money, as needed, to an account in Jordan. The Government here can, and will, 'remove' any money belonging to Bank Customers if it sits there for too long & is not being used!! Just plain 'greedy!!' My own son and his wife had this problem recently.

        Yes - he is the same guy who was engaging in cybersex with me. Since he has come back - around 6 weeks go - from the U.S., I have also told him that I will NOT continue with the cybersex either!!

        At least one of us will abide by the Muslim rules, even if I'm not Muslim myself!! He respects my decision. I've reminded him that it is Haram in his own law!! It did make him 'take a step back' and look at his own actions. He respects me for that. He told me I have a "good, clean, heart". The main thing is, that we 'trust' each other. You may wish to 'question' that, but that is up to you.

        You know, everybody on this planet, no matter what religion they are, are all sinners in one way or another. I may not be a Muslim, but I do like the Muslim way of life as compared to 'Western'.

        He goes to the U.S.A. once a year to visit his two children - his son is in San Francisco and is a Construction Engineer (recently moved there from Dubai and moves around a lot) & his daughter is in Chicago. He still has a son living in Amman in the Jordanian Air Force. He prays to Allah that he comes home safely every time!! Yes, he does Skype them - but he told me it's not the same as seeing them in 'person', so to speak.

        I know exactly how he feels - I have a daughter in Seattle & I only see her & my grandson via Skype as well. But, it's not the same as giving family a real hug!!

        There must be 'trust' and 'respect' in any relationship to start with. He is a good man, despite what you may think of him. I know him 'better' than anyone!!



  4. to: Midnightmoon,

    Thank you so much for your advice with regard to my financial circumstances - when the time comes, that is. As I will be living in Amman, Jordan, when the time arises, I will seek out a Lawyer there. Someone not 'connected' to my Jordanian husband. Just for independent advice only. Not to say that I don't 'trust' him - on the contrary, just the opposite!! I want some independence of my own.

    I would like a 'separate' account of my own. Yes, I am aware that the man is obligated to support his wife/wives (he prefers 'one' wife at a time) as the case may be. I would also like to contribute to the monthly household bills as well. To me, it's so much easier to share things.

    We have discussed what we 'expect' from each other in the marriage as well - as we are very open-minded with this. He's one of the easiest people to talk to.

    Again, thank you for your advice. It is very much appreciated.



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